Overfishing

Despite the ubiquitous nature of fish, many populations are declining due to industrial fishing practices of the 20th and 21st centuries.

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Slip into the water along a sheltered coast in nearly any part of the world and you’re likely to find yourself in an emerald field of seagrass . Like flowering plants on land, seagrasses...
As the popularity of seafood rises globally, companies are developing...
Tom Peschak, a photojournalist with the Save Our Seas Foundation, describes the...
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Worldwide, fisheries touch our lives in countless ways. If well maintained,...

LATEST CATCH

The Oculina deep-sea coral reef at top has not been disturbed by humans—but trawling has devastated the one at bottom. When fishermen trawl, they drag a net along the seafloor, destroying everything in its path. Only about 10...
In recent years, blooms of jellyfish, such as these moon jellies ( Aurita...
One of the biggest threats to sea turtles, such as the loggerhead turtle (...

DIVE DEEPER

by Caty Fairclough Sharks have been feared hunters ever since people first observed them swimming in the vast ocean. Yet...
When it comes to many of our once-favorite seafoods, there aren't always plenty more fish in the sea. In fact, some studies estimate that up to 90 percent of large predatory fish (those that eat...
The impacts of derelict fishing gear on the Northwest Hawaiian Islands coral reef ecosystem are numerous. A primary effect of reef entanglement is structural damage to the coral substrate that...
Orange roughy ( Hoplostethus atlanticus ) is a deep ocean fish that grows and matures at a sluggish rate compared to most shallow water fish. They don't reproduce until they are at least 20 years old...
In recent years, blooms of jellyfish, such as these moon jellies ( Aurita aurita ) in the Chesapeake Bay, have become more common around the world for a number of different reasons . One result of...
"Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year, often only for their fins. I have wrestled with how to take pictures of dead sharks that resonate with readers. One morning, I jumped into the sea in...
This sea lion has been caught in killed in a giant drift net, or a “curtain of death,” as photographer Tom Woodward calls them. These giant drift nets, placed around the world’s oceans to catch...
Top predators along the California coast are having a rough year. Recently starving sea lions have showed up on California beaches and are clamoring for fish at the mouth of Oregon's Columbia River...
Guitarfish, rays, and other bycatch are tossed from a shrimp boat in La Paz, Mexico in 2006. Many species caught as bycatch are never monitored, and, insofar as they have important roles in the...
Reef sharks rarely get any love. These sharks, comprising several species, loiter around coral reefs, snacking on small fish, squids and crustaceans. And while their size is nothing to smirk at—5-10...
Alaskan king crab fisheries are on the rebound after years of unsustainable exploitation. New regulations mean that immediately after a haul is brought on board, the crabs are sorted and all females...
This illustration shows whalers of the early 1800s with their highly profitable catch.
Worldwide, fisheries touch our lives in countless ways. If well maintained, they can feed millions of people, generate jobs and income, help maintain long-standing community and cultural traditions,...
Cashes Ledge is an underwater mountain range off the New England coast, which is home to a great diversity of life. Because the rocky and steep peaks almost reach the surface in some areas, it is...
More desirable fish species like tuna , bass, and swordfish are being fished out, leaving us with species lower on the food chain—like jellyfish . Could this burger show up on lunch menus one day...
A team from the Center for Coastal Studies works to free a one-year-old right whale from the fishing ropes wrapped and knotted around its body and flippers. The whale is Kingfisher, #3346 in the...
As the popularity of seafood rises globally, companies are developing innovative and more efficient methods of harvesting fish to meet demand. While fish farming presents environmental concerns,...
It can be hard to remember all the names of fish caught or farmed sustainably while you're at the supermarket. To help, the Monterey Bay Aquarium created its Seafood Watch guides, which come in the...
When a critically endangered North Atlantic right whale becomes entangled in fishing gear, members of a response team from the Atlantic Large Whale Disentanglement Network spring into action. In the...
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